My rating: 5 of 5 flames
I received this wonderful book as an ARC from Netgalley.com
I adored this book. I fell in love with Juliana in Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, and in Eleven Scandals, the young woman she becomes does not disappoint.
When we first met Juliana in Nine Rules to Break When Romancing A Rake, we met an impetuous unsure young lady who wasn’t sure she wanted a place in society. Juliana was fantastic, and passionate, and so desperate to prove she didn’t care what the ton thought of her. But too bad she kind of did care.
Simon, “Duke of Disdain,” wanted nothing to do with Juliana and her scandalous behavior. Everywhere Juliana went, scandal seemed to follow…and Simon kept getting caught in the aftermath. Poor duke with a pristine reputation, felt he could ill afford to be associated with such a common girl, sister of a marquess or not. I loved when Juliana called him an ass in Italian, but then repeated it for him in English! The banter between the two was always engaging and well-done. Oh! And we got to find out what it was Simon said to Juliana at the ball in Nine Rules that had her finally deciding on staying in England to prove how wrong everyone was about her.
I want this to be spoiler-free, so I can’t go into much detail, but I think when Simon finally realized that Juliana did not purposely create scandals just to irritate him really made me fall for him. And the scene leading up to that epiphany? Oh man, I was soo furious for the St. John family and for (especially for) Juliana. Bravo for Simon checking up on Juliana after all that. I think that is really where I began to want less of a putting-Simon-in-his-place, and more of a true romance between them.
Speaking of romance, oh the romance in this book. The magic that is Juliana and Simon had me frantically flipping pages to see how they would overcome their obstacles. And the way that they did was so sweet, and wonderful and I wanted to be Juliana so I could feel that way. The Guy Fawkes day bonfire was so romantic and…sad. Yep, I said sad. I think that was where both Juliana and Simon realized they were not going to have their happy ending. But the way Simon came back to Juliana was so wonderful, and it broke my heart to see how the ball ended.
But their story amazes and enthralls and wraps the reader up and holds you until the end. At that point I was so sad that the story was over. I wish I could forget this book just so I could have the wonder and amazement of reading it for the first time again. Sarah MacLean brings the magic.
Sarah MacLean has created such a fabulous and vivid cast with her “Love by Numbers” series and I know I will re-read this book many times. In fact, netgalley only lends the ARC out for 60 days, and I’ve read it twice, even though I have my own deadlines and other responsibilities.